A Voice for Radio

radio-micI don’t think there are very many people out there who hear recordings of their voice and go “oh my gosh yes, that is beautiful!” For some reason, we just don’t like the sound of our own voice. This a big reason why a lot of people think they have to change their voice for radio. There is a misconception that radio personalities have to “put on” their voice, like it’s a hat or a pair of socks that they can put on or take off as they please. But in reality, there is no “radio voice”. This is a lesson I learned on my very first day on air, after I heard a recording of myself and I sounded like a robot cheerleader who had drank wayyyy too much coffee. I over-pronounced words, I sounded overly excited and peppy, plus I was yelling as if I was talking to someone hard of hearing. My bosses purposely recorded me so I could hear it back, and I never put that voice on again.

Radio personalities are going for authenticity. The more authentic and honest you are on air, the better people will connect with you. So, the best way to have a radio voice is to just be yourself. Although, smiling also doesn’t hurt (you can read my whole post about smiling more). Radio personalities might change their tone or infliction on words, but for the most part, what you’re hearing is the way they would sound off-air or in any normal setting. This is why I’ve had random people at my other jobs/school/the grocery store stare at me with a confused expression until it clicks that they recognize my voice and they go “Are you on KDUK??” and I blush and nod (I’ll never get used to that happening). I don’t particularly like my voice, but it’s distinctive. Something about the way I talk is distinguishable from other people. I don’t think anyone likes the sound of their own voice, but people will connect with the real you far better than they ever would with some overcaffinated robo-cheerleader, promise you that.